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Ex-coach at Richland H.S. is accused of having sexual contact with player

The school fired Trevor Franklin after administrators learned about the relationship.

March 15, 2013|by Emily Wood, KY3 News | ewood@ky3.com

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- A former assistant girls basketball coach at Richland High School is charged with having sexual contact with one of his players last fall.  Trevor Franklin, 26, of Stoutland was charged on Wednesday after an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  He hasn’t worked for the school since last Nov. 30.

The probable cause statement against Franklin says his relationship with the girl started when he gave her his telephone number in case she had questions about basketball.  Between Nov. 15 and Nov. 30, investigators found, the girl and Franklin exchanged 4,300 text messages – about 2,350 sent by Franklin and 1,950 sent by the girl.

The girl told detectives that Franklin brought up sexual topics in his messages soon after their exchanges started.  She said Franklin’s comments bothered her and she called him a “creeper.”  She said Franklin told her he was interested in her romantically and planned to divorce his wife in 2013.  She told detectives that Franklin invited her to his home while his family was gone.

The teen told detectives that she planned to wait to have sexual intercourse only after she was married.  The probable cause statement says she told detectives that Franklin told her that he wanted a long term relationship and talked about living together after she graduated from high school.  It indicates she is a junior.

The girl told detectives that she and Franklin kissed on two occasions – once at a restaurant and once at Richland High School while classes were not in session – and that Franklin held her hand on a school bus on the way home after a basketball game.

The probable cause statement says part of the evidence against Franklin is a video from Laquey High School’s surveillance system recorded during a basketball tournament.   It shows the girl and Franklin got into his truck.  During that encounter, the girl told detectives, Franklin kissed her and pawed her in a sexual manner, after which she said she pushed away his hand.

The girl told detectives that Franklin told her to delete all the text messages that they exchanged, including photos.   She said he once encouraged her to send him a partially nude photo of herself, and she did, leading him to make lewd comments about it.

The probable cause statement includes graphic language that the girl and her sister said Franklin used in suggesting what they might do together sexually.  It also says Franklin made a veiled threat that the girl should never tell anyone about their relationship.

The probable cause statement doesn’t say what caused their relationship to be revealed. The day before that happened, the girl said Franklin asked her to skip school and go to his house because his wife was out of town.

Richland School District Superintendent Joe Ridgeway issued a statement.

"It has recently come to our attention that a former district assistant basketball coach, Mr. Trevor Franklin, was charged with sexual contact with student.  We want to ensure all students, parents, and patrons of the district that we are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials regarding this matter.  Mr. Franklin is no longer a coach with the district and his employment ended on or about November 30, 2012.  Student safety is the district’s top priority and we will continue to ensure that all district students have a safe and positive learning environment."

Franklin posted a $50,000 bond on Thursday.  His first court appearance is scheduled for April 12.  If he’s convicted, he could get a prison sentence as long as four years.

Online court records show Franklin’s wife, Jessica, filed for divorce on Dec. 10, and filed a proposed parenting plan, but then asked a judge to dismiss her petition on Feb. 13.

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